NO politics for me this morning. Instead today’s distractions are sex, fashion and money. Write about what you know, they do say – ho-hum. Really today’s blog is concerned with the things you end up reading in the weekend newspapers (and often not at the weekend).
First up is a report in the Family section of last Saturday’s Guardian, under the headline: “In my 50s, having the best sex ever!” The story relayed in some colourful detail how Laurett Fenn was “single, menopausal and fed up living without sex” so downloaded several dating apps and embarked on a series of sexual adventures with younger men.
I read this because, well, who wouldn’t? Laurett – a pseudonym – ends up having a better sex life than in her twenties and “I’ve had men who wouldn’t have looked at me twice back then”.
My thoughts are nothing to do with my own sex life then or now, so much as to wonder what the reaction would be if a man had written such a piece. You know, a man in his fifties who was having lots of sex with gorgeous women in their twenties and thirties; a man worrying, perhaps, about what all that activity might be doing to his, er, equipment; a man constantly amazed that all these beautiful young women didn’t find him a turn-off?
These are the sort of concerns that afflict Laurett from her female perspective, but mostly she is on a high of sorts. She concludes her account by saying that she has “no idea where this endless parade of unimaginable pleasure will take me”. Probably to a book deal, I shouldn’t wonder.
One big question is how would all this sound if a man had written the piece. Would it be sleazier seen through a male eye?
I guess the point is that a middle-aged man sharing the details of such an adventuresome shag-fest would not be that remarkable, where it is unusual to read the woman’s point of view. Although perhaps not in that section of the Guardian, where another pseudonymous middle-aged woman writer has just finished a two-year column along similar lines. And is now writing a book about her adventures.
Next up is a sunny Sunday sort of story on the news pages of the Observer, under the headline: “As Britons bask in the sun, beach fashion is all about looking your best on Instagram”.
The story is all about the “beautiful and the bendy”, which is troublesome for any personal parallels I might wish to make, as I am neither of those things.
Really this story strays into alien territory for me, and is all about how young bloggers are photographed as they traipse elegantly in the sunshine. Apparently, they don’t care about being seen on the beach as what they’re doing is parading outfits especially designed to be shown off on Instagram to their many followers.
These bright young things write a different sort of blog to this one. They put endless pictures of themselves in glamorous poses as they wear different sometimes skimpy outfits. It has to be said that some of the winners at the UK Blog Awards worked along similar lines.
Some of these bloggers have followers in their millions, so perhaps I should try something similar. I could do with a few more adherents. Do you think pictures of me in one or other of my four pairs of Levis might catch on? “These are the really old ones with the frayed leg ends and the beginnings of a wallet-shaped hole in the back pocket.” “These ones are newer and I like to roll up the ends and wear them with my best Doc Marten shoes…”
On to the Barbara Ellen column in the Observer now, where the following headline caught my eye: “It’s boom time for bank of mum and dad – if you chose the right parents.”
Barbara’s thoughts were concentrated round ever-longer borrowing and the return of 100 per cent mortgages – which in some cases involve the borrower finding a ‘backer’ who can stump up ten per cent of the property price (returned with interest after three years if the borrower hasn’t defaulted).
Mostly my reaction to this one was personal, and a little wryly sorrowful. Our three certainly didn’t choose the right parents when it comes to the bank of mum and dad. We might have some parental virtues, but being family bankers isn’t one of them at the moment.
So there you go, sex, fashion and money, as promised.